Sibley County DWI Lawyer
Due to the high rate of deaths caused by impaired driving in Minnesota, the courts prosecute DWI cases aggressively. The Insurance Information Institute reports that DWI is responsible for a third of all traffic deaths in the state annually. Persons convicted of DWI risk losing freedom as well as paying hefty fines and other penalties.
If you are facing a DWI charge in Sibley County, you need an experienced defense lawyer to help you fight the charges the best way possible. At Knutson + Casey, we have defended many clients in DWI cases in Sibley County and across Southern Minnesota. Give us a no-obligation call at (507) 344-8888 and tell us more about your case.
Understanding DWI Laws in Sibley County
Minnesota criminalizes driving under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance. In addition, if you knowingly consume a substance likely to impair you, you may face criminal charges for DWI.
Chemical Testing for Potential DWIs
According to traffic laws, by operating a motor vehicle, you consent to undergo a chemical test whenever a police officer has a reason to believe you were driving while impaired. If the test reveals your alcohol concentration is above 0.08%, the officer has a right to arrest and charge you with DWI. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the maximum alcohol is much lower, at 0.04%. Failing to submit to a test is an additional criminal charge..
Degrees of DWI Sentences
Depending on the case facts, a DWI sentence may be first, second, third, or fourth-degree. Aggravating factors like the presence of a child in the vehicle, previous DWI convictions within the past years, or an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more could attract more severe penalties.
Facing DWI Charges
Generally, various DWI laws spring into effect once you get arrested for driving while impaired. While you may represent yourself in a DWI charge, there is always a risk of your freedom being at stake, losing your driving license, and paying high fines. Consulting an experienced DWI attorney is always the best move as they understand the laws and may help explore various possible defenses. They may be able to have the charges dropped or reduced , or shorten your probation and reduce your fines..
Penalties for DWI in Sibley County
After a DWI conviction, you may face both administrative and criminal penalties. The sanctions vary in severity depending on several factors. Let us have a brief overview of the possible consequences.
The penalties for a DWI in Sibley County depend on a number of factors, including the level of your blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether there are any aggravating factors. The following are penalties without any aggravating factors:
- Fourth-Degree DWI: Classified as a misdemeanor with penalties of up to 90 days in jail and fines of $1,000.
- Third-Degree DWI: Classified as a gross misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in jail and fines of $3,000.
- Second-Degree DWI: Classified as a gross misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in jail and fines of $3,000.
- First-Degree DWI: Classified as a felony with penalties of up to seven years imprisonment and a $14,000 fine.
As earlier mentioned, aggravating factors may include:
- The presence of a child aged below 16 years in the vehicle and younger than you by three years
- Impaired driving incident(s) within the past ten years
- Alcohol concentration above 0.16
If you have any of the above while arrested for driving under the influence, you may face serious criminal punishment and should talk with your lawyer as soon as possible.
Administrative Sanctions in Minnesota
In addition to the above criminal sanctions, you could also face administrative consequences such as:
- License revocation
- License plate impoundment
- Vehicle forfeiture
- Limited license (allowed to drive to certain activities)
- Restricted license (install an ignition interlock device at own expense)
As you can see, a DWI conviction attracts severe consequences. While an attorney cannot guarantee acquittal or a more lenient outcome, having a lawyer experienced in handling similar cases in Sibley County is always your best shot at freedom.
How Long Does a DWI Sentence Stay on Your Record?
A DWI conviction stays on your driving record for life. However, if the charge is a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor, you may apply to have it expunged from your record. Expungement involves hiding the conviction from public searches, but the courts may access it in future DWI charges.
Also, states share DWI records, so it is possible for the courts, either in Minnesota or other states, to search for your past DWI record during a current conviction.
Why Choose Knutson + Casey?
With many DWI defense attorneys in Sibley County, you could be wondering why you should choose Knutson + Casey. Our firm has a team of experienced defense attorneys committed to giving our clients the best representation possible. While we cannot promise to win your case, we have a track record of successfully securing acquittals, case dismissals, and lenient sentences in past DWI charges. We have helped thousands of clients in Southern Minnesota, and we’ll fight for you, too.
Once a client briefs us on their case details, we take time to understand the specifics and then explore possible defenses. If we take up your case, we will work with you closely throughout the process.
Let Our Experienced Knutson + Casey Lawyers in Sibley County Represent You
Minnesota laws enforce strict consequences for DWI charges. From criminal sanctions, including jail terms and fines, to administrative penalties such as license revocation and license plate impoundment, the sentence may be severe depending on the individual case facts. Additionally, if your charge has aggravating factors, the penalties may increase tremendously. Unfortunately, once convicted, the charge stays on your record for life unless you secure expungement, which is not easy to come by.
If you have been charged with a DWI in Sibley County, we welcome you to share your case details with us and let us defend you the best way we can. Some benefits of working with Knutson + Casey lawyers include personable service, experienced attorneys, big firm power, innovative representation, and more. Fill out our contact form or call us at (507) 344-8888 for a free consultation.